The Congress on Monday stepped up pressure on CAG Vinod Rai at the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting, asking him if he was batting for any corporate interest in his audit report on the alleged 2G spectrum scam.
Rai denied the charge and opposition members, too, supported him. At one point, CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta, BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh questioned if it was proper to call the CAG, a constitutional post-holder, as a witness.
JPC chairman PC Chacko rejected these objections pointing out that the opposition had not raised these points earlier.
Congress spokesperson and MP Manish Tewari led the charge against Rai, who has been under fire from the UPA members over his report pegging the loss due to the alleged scam at R1.76 lakh crore.
Tewari said Rai had deliberately not considered the FDI attracted by a private telecom operator. Tewari argued if that FDI were taken as a parameter, the notional loss would have been R4.19 lakh crore.
When Rai replied the company had the goodwill to attract FDI, Tewari questioned if any study was done to ascertain the goodwill. “Were CAG members batting for any corporate interests? Why this FDI figure was left out selectively?” he asked.
Rai stood by his calculations. But Tewari pointed out none of the three initial estimates had all CAG officials on the same page. The Congress alleged there was no objectivity while calculating the 2G losses. Rai, however, maintained that RP Singh or other officers never debated the 2G loss estimates.
Rai is set to appear again on Tuesday to field questions from opposition members. Meanwhile, finance secretary RS Gujral and economic affairs secretary R Gopalan, who were slated to depose before the JPC on Tuesday, will appear later.